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Biometals. 2007 Jun;20(3-4):699-703. Epub 2007 Jan 6.

Roles of the Yfe and Feo transporters of Yersinia pestis in iron uptake and intracellular growth.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics, University of Kentucky, 800 Rose St, MS415 Med. Ctr, Lexington, KY 40536-0298, USA.


In Yersinia pestis, the Yfe and Feo systems likely function to transport ferrous iron. Both FeoA and FeoB are essential for iron acquisition activity while FeoC is not. Mutations in yfe and feo had an additive effect on microaerophilic growth under iron-chelating conditions. Y. pestis cells lacking the Ybt siderophore-dependent system, the Yfe or the Feo system grow normally in J774A.1 cells. However, a double yfeAB feoB mutant was no longer able to grow in this murine macrophage cell line. This growth defect likely resulted from iron and not manganese deprivation since a yfeAB mntH mutant grew normally in J774A.1 cells. These results suggest that the Yfe and Feo systems are somewhat redundant ferrous iron transporters capable of iron acquisition during intracellular growth of the plague bacterium.

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